Sunday, February 10, 2013

Accident and Calaveras Century (2013)

Febuary 9, 2013, Calaveras - Collier Canyon Century, 102 1/2 miles, w Ward, Christine, Jack, Todd

Should have been a great day but it sucked.  We had just left Walnut Creek, whole club still intact.  When Bill took a flier off the front.  He touched his front wheel to a rear wheel at 27mph, and went flying off his bike.

As usual paramedics and firemen were saints.  Many great people trying to calm Bill down, who needed to lay still but wanted to roll around.  As I know, damn, its hard.  Danville cops did a nice job controlling the mayhem.  Bill relatively new to the club and I felt like a turkey when a copy asked for his last name, contact information-------DUH.     Many of us ride with road-ID or info in bike wallets, but even the old timers have no ideas who has what. 

 Made me think back to my four ambulance rides--actually I can only remember 2 and one was in a helicopter.  That one ever four years I've been cycling.  My car pool buddy, Melissa, who used to do triathlons, mater of factly says what do you expect--if you do  athletics enough you are going to get hurt.  My mom and grandma opined--if you do nothing you are perfectly safe.  They used to tell this to me when I visited and most of their neighbors, who also believed this, were on hypertension or cardiac or diabetes medication. 

On the other hand I once came back from an organized Century where a woman crashed badly and fractured her face.  I came home telling my wife that it was awful just thinking about it, and Mrs. Pumpkin said--don't you remember, that's what you did last year. (I didn't remember)

So we should avoid anything dangerous, eh?  In 1969, at the height of the Vietnam War, 5x as many people died in automobile crashes than in the war.  It could have been 20x--I don't think anyone would have avoided getting into a car.    

In any way our illusion of having a protective shield, of being safe, is again shattered.   It sucks for Bill, who now has to suffer with broken ribs and a punctured lung--crap, eventually the morphine wears off.   The worst thing thought may be the concussion--hopefully its mild--I thought that was worse than any broken bones.    Hopefully he can come back stronger than ever -- the only positive from these major accidents is you miss the adrenaline rush, the camaraderie, the fun so much (first question: "doctor--when can i go back on the trainer?") your enthusiasm gets rekindled again.

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